by Lauren Bailey
Pax Christi USA National Field Organizer
As we approach Earth Day on April 22nd, we recognize that the climate crisis is presenting increasingly urgent troubles for all of creation. Natural disasters are becoming stronger and more deadly with each season that passes, temperatures globally are rising at twice the rate that they used to, and sea levels are increasing at record speeds. When COVID first caused people to start staying home, the birds in Wuhan were reportedly able to be heard after years of silence and the sky was cleared of smog where it was previously covered in gray clouds. It should not take a life-altering pandemic for people to start taking measures to repair the damage caused by climate change.
As we move forward, nourishing the earth and cherishing her ability to breathe freely, we must commit to further progress that builds on the foundation that our slowed-down lives have created. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis writes,
Nor can we overlook another kind of debt: the “ecological debt” that exists especially between the global north and south. We are, in fact, in debt to nature itself, as well as the people and countries affected by human-induced ecological degradation and biodiversity loss (51-52).
Climate colonialism is exacerbating economic and ecological inequalities between the global north and south. Any efforts for global equity that do not center the voices of those striving for climate justice are failing to holistically address the crises of the current moment. We stand in gratitude in appreciation for the folks paving a way for ecological justice — especially the Indigenous leaders that remain in the forefront of the movement.
I hope especially that, if you’re a young adult between the ages of 20-39, you’ll join us for our Evening of Dialogue on Ecological Justice this Wednesday; and that all of you will join us on Thursday for our second virtual Peace Mass, this one focused especially on the theme of care for creation.